Amazon Fire TV Edition 4K Smart Televisions Unveiled by Element, Westinghouse

Amazon’s streaming TV software will appear on a new line of smart TVs designed to blend streaming TV services and over-the-air channels, but not cable packages.

The TVs from Element Electronics will be sold under the Element and Westinghouse brands and will cost more than regular smart TVs from either brand. Officials say the TVs have better hardware for reliable streaming and aren’t designed for casual viewers who buy TVs only to never hook them up to the internet.

While Samsung and LG are still developing their own smart TV systems, many other manufacturers have abandoned in-house efforts and are turning instead to streaming TV companies such as Roku, and now Amazon. The in-house efforts have largely been weak because few streaming services bother designing apps for them, and they don’t have big teams to look for security threats.

Amazon Fire TV Edition 4K Smart Televisions Unveiled by Element, WestinghouseFor the new TVs, Amazon’s Fire TV remote is getting common TV controls such as volume, while the on-screen menu is being adapted to incorporate live TV. Besides the rows of icons for various apps and streaming content, there’s now a row just for shows currently available through an antenna. There’s also a row for connected devices, such as game consoles and DVD players.

Have cable? You can hook that up to the TV, but you won’t get the menu integration. You’ll also have to use the cable’s remote, as the Fire TV one lacks numbers for changing channels. With over-the-air broadcasts, you do that through the on-screen menu.

Though officials say cable integration may come, the decision to focus on over-the-air content reflects the growing practice of “cord-cutting” – ditching cable services in favor of online streaming services, including the ones offered on the Fire TV.

Prices range from $449 (roughly Rs. 28,800) for a 43-inch TV to $899 (roughly Rs. 57,650) for 65 inches. The new TVs, called Amazon Fire TV Edition, will be capable of displaying sharper video known as 4K resolution, though most TV shows and movies are available only in high definition, the standard on TVs today.

LG G6 Now Available With a Rs. 10,000 Discount in India

LG India is now offering its latest flagship G6 smartphone in India with Rs. 10,000 discount as part of its 20th anniversary in the country. While the smartphone was launched at a price of Rs. 51,990 in India, currently it is available at Rs. 41,999 on Amazon. The company announced the limited period discount on the flagship smartphone through its Twitter account.

To recall, the LG G6 smartphone was initially launched by the company at MWC 2017 in February and runs Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box. The highlight feature on the smartphone is its 5.7-inch QHD+ (1440×2880 pixels) FullVision display with an 18:9 (or 2:1) aspect ratio instead of industry standard (16:9). The phone was launched with the new UX 6.0 that company said has been optimised for the 18:9 aspect ratio.

The smartphone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC coupled with 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM. The LG G6 was launched in the 64GB storage variant. The storage on the LG G6 is expandable via microSD card (up to 2TB).

In terms of optics, the new LG flagship smartphone comes with a dual-camera setup at rear end with two 13-megapixel sensors – one for wide-angle shots with 125-degree lens and f/2.4 aperture, and the other for regular shots with 71-degree lens and OIS 2.0. At front, the G6 features a 5-megapixel wide-angle lens with f/2.2 aperture and 100-degree lens.

LG G6 Now Available With a Rs. 10,000 Discount in IndiaThe LG G6 houses a non-removable 3300mAh battery. This is a departure from the company’s earlier devices that usually featured removable batteries. It measures 148.9×71.9×7.9mm and weighs in at 163 grams. LG G6 supports LTE-A 3 Band CA network and in terms of connectivity options, it includes Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth v4.2, NFC, and USB Type-C 2.0 connectivity options. It is available in Astro Black, Ice Platinum, and Mystic White colour options.

Notably, the phone was touted to be the “first smartphone with supports Dolby Vision” at the time of its launch by LG. It features a 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC (digital to analogue converter) for enhanced audio playback as well. The phone packs a fingerprint scanner at the back as well. Another distinction is that it has passed the MIL-STD 810G military standard certification for durability.

iPhone 8 Dimensions, Renders Leaked; LG Reportedly Eyeing OLED Display Orders Next Year

iPhone 8 rumours have been numerous in the recent past, and today’s leak brings more information on the dimensions of the iPhone 8. Renders have also been leaked alongside, and the iPhone 8 is seen being compared to the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S8, and Samsung Galaxy S8+. Furthermore, LG is reportedly eyeing OLED display orders from Apple next year, and has made a large amount of investment to ramp up its OLED smartphone display production.

First up, iDrop News cites anonymous “factory workers with intimate knowledge” to report that the iPhone 8 will measure at 143.59×70.94×7.57mm. This makes the iPhone 8 wider and larger than the iPhone 7, but smaller when compared to the iPhone 7 Plus. To recall, the iPhone 7 dimensions are at 138.3×67.1×7.1 mm and the iPhone 7 Plus measures at 158.2×77.9×7.3 mm. Looking at the dimensions, the iPhone 8 is also thicker than both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

The report is unclear about the weight, but it is anticipated to be more than the iPhone 7 but less than the iPhone 7 Plus. The report has also leaked renders of the smartphone, based on the information it received. The iPhone 8 is seen sporting an edge-to-edge display in the front with no Home Button in the front as well. There is a small lip at the top edge of the smartphone for integrating the front camera and sensors. At the back, there is a vertical dual camera setup with the Apple logo, but no sign of a fingerprint scanner. This further cements rumours of a fingerprint scanner embedded underneath the display.

Furthermore, the iPhone 8 is also pegged against the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S8+. To recall, the Galaxy S8 measures 148.9×68.1×8.0 mm, while the Galaxy S8+ comes in at 159.5×73.4×8.1 mm. If the rumoured dimensions are true, the iPhone 8 will be slimmer.

iphonesamsun main iPhone 8

A separate report from ET News claims that LG is investing huge amounts of money to become Apple’s second supplier of OLED displays next year. This year, Samsung has reportedly bagged the exclusive deal for the iPhone 8’s OLED displays, but LG is reported to be ramping up its production facilities for OLED smartphone displays, and is switching from its previous focus on TVs.

“LG Display is planning to invest about $3.56 billion (KRW 4 trillion) into P10, which is its new factory in Paju, and construct production lines for 6th generation flexible OLEDs in 2018. Although it was planning to make investments mostly on large OLEDs for TVs initially, it is currently thinking about making investments on OLEDs for Smartphones first. It seems that LG Display is planning to secure its position as the second supplier for Apple iPhone by quickly increasing its production capability of OLED for Smartphone, the report said.

LG also believes that Chinese OEMs will follow Apple’s footsteps to integrate OLED displays, so if it doesn’t bag an order from Apple, it does have other options to partake from.

LG Pay Mobile Payments Service Launched in South Korea, G6 to Get Support First

In March this year, LG announced that the company will be launching its own payments service – called LG Pay – to rival the ones offered by other major players including Samsung and Apple. At the time, LG said that South Korea will be the first country to get support for its payment service in June and in line with its announcement, it has now rolled out the service in its home country.

LG Electronics on Friday launched LG Pay, which makes use of Wireless Magnetic Communication technology unlike Magnetic Secure Transmission technology used by rival service Samsung Pay (which also supports NFC, like Apple Pay), as per a report by Korea Herald. The South Korean company has reportedly said that LG Pay will initially be available through four credit card brands including Shinhan, KB, BC, and Lotte. However, it has been said to gradually expand to cover all industry players by the end of September.

LG Pay Mobile Payments Service Launched in South Korea, G6 to Get Support FirstAs announced earlier, LG Pay will be first supported by the company’s LG G6 flagship, but the company is planning to provide the support to more devices going ahead. Notably, LG Pay service requires the user’s fingerprint for every single transaction and thereby has been claimed to improve security while transacting.

It will be interesting to see which payment service will be able to become as mainstream as other payment methods but needless to say, Android users are increasingly getting more payment options as major players are stepping into the game.

LG, Valve Partner on VR Headset Powered by SteamVR; to Be Shown at GDC This Week

LG is trying to step up its effort to enter the virtual reality segment, which is currently being dominated by the likes of Sony, Samsung, and HTC. At this year’s Mobile World Congress, LG reiterated its interest in VR by announcing a collaboration with Valve on a SteamVR-powered headset.

This is not the first time LG has shown interest in the virtual space. At last year’s MWC, LG introduced the 360 VR headset alongside its G5 modular smartphone. The headset was limited in that it was only compatible with the G5, which meant that its success largely depended on the success of the smartphone. However, it now looks like LG has abandoned its pilot project for something new.

LG, Valve Partner on VR Headset Powered by SteamVR; to Be Shown at GDC This WeekLG’s partnership with Valve now pits the South Korean giant against HTC, which also teamed up with Valve to bring out HTC Vive. As of now, details regarding the new LG VR headset is minimal. What we do know is that LG will use Valve’s SteamVR Tracking and OpenVR platform, Valve confirmed to Road to VR.
OpenVR, as the name suggest, was meant to to let third-party hardware makers involved in developing VR headsets to use Valve’s system so that multiple entities could work on the same software. And with LG now building its headset on Valve’s platform, that goal is slowly being realised. Valve says the new prototype is “designed to deliver a high fidelity, next generation VR experience.” The new headset will be showcased at GDC 2017 in San Francisco this week.

Separately, Valve last week also announced it would start selling SteamVR Tracking base stations directly from its online store. The company aims to make it easier for developers outside HTC to implement SteamVR Tracking in their products.

ZTE Quartz Android Wear 2.0 Smartwatch With Google Assistant Launched

ZTE has launched its Quartz smartwatch with Android Wear 2.0 and in order to ensure that the wearable remains affordable to consumers, the company has priced it at just $192 (roughly Rs. 12,400) in the US. The smartwatch will be made available online from Friday and will be released through stores from April 21 later this month.

As the Android Wear 2.0 rollout has been delayed for several watches due to certain bugs, ZTE’s new smartwatch could provide an affordable alternative to LG Watch Style and LG Watch Sport, which were launched earlier this year with the platform. The ZTE Quartz runs Android Wear 2.0 and therefore features search giant’s AI-powered Google Assistant. Coming to the specifications on the wearable, the new Quartz smartwatch sports a 1.4-inch AMOLED display and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor coupled with 768MB RAM. It features 4GB of inbuilt storage and comes with built-in speaker and mic.

ZTE Quartz Android Wear 2.0 Smartwatch With Google Assistant LaunchedThe watch houses 500mAh of battery and provides connectivity options including 3G, Bluetooth 4.1, 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz, and GPS. The sensors on the device include an accelerometer, gyroscope, and barometer.
Notably, the watch comes with IP67 water resistance and will easily be able to handle splashes of water when you are around a swimming pool. The smartwatch will be made available in a Silver colour variant. The wearable comes with interchangeable wrist bands and customised watch faces as well.

“Experience superb call quality and the luxury of a hands-free experience. No need to worry if the person on the other end of the line can hear you with connectivity that feels as though you are taking calls from your phone,” the company says on its website.

LG G4, V10 Users File Class Action Lawsuit Over Boot Loop Issue

LG is facing a class-action lawsuit from four disgruntled users over the LG G4 and LG V10 boot loop issue. Apparently, users who got defective pieces were refused a replacement as their devices were out of warranty, or in some cases, LG replaced them with faulty ones.

In January last year, LG even addressed the boot loop mishap after much prodding, and claimed that it was the result of “loose contact between components”, and started offering replacements and fixes officially. To recap, this issue caused the phones to reboot repeatedly, rendering them useless. The lawsuit highlights that LG undertook a rather meek recall by offering faulty replacements, or denying replacement altogether for out of warranty devices.

LG G4, V10 Users File Class Action Lawsuit Over Boot Loop IssueArs Technica got hold of the lawsuit that claims, “Despite this admission, LG did not undertake a recall or offer an adequate remedy to consumers who purchased the LG G4 phone. LG instead replaced LG G4s that failed within the one-year warranty period with phones that had the same defect. And LG refused to provide any remedy to purchasers of LG G4s that failed outside the warranty period because of the boot loop defect.”
Furthermore, the lawsuit alleges that “LG continued to manufacture LG phones with the boot loop defect” even after admission of a hardware defect. The lawsuit also claims that several V10 users also faced the same issue as its “hardware closely resembles the LG G4 with only a few adjustments, such as expanded storage and an additional camera.”

One of the plaintiffs complained in the lawsuit that LG replaced his defective G4 unit twice with faulty units, and his third one also constantly freezes. The suit demands “damages in an amount to be determined at trial” and hopes that the federal judge order a “comprehensive program to repair all LG phones containing the boot loop defect” in addition to some compensation for harassing the customer. LG is yet to respond to this lawsuit.

Apple Unveils LG UltraFine 5K Display, Developed for the New MacBook Pro

On Thursday, in one of the rare occurrences at Apple’s event, company’s Senior Vice President of Marketing Phil Schiller unveiled a 5K display made by LG, not by Apple, while showcasing the capabilities of company’s new MacBook Pro. Apple usually doesn’t advertise other company’s products at its launch events but Schiller explained the reason for this particular aberration. Schiller said that the 5K display by LG was designed in collaboration with Apple, and keeping the new MacBook Pro in mind. The company also revealed just how many 4K and 5K external displays the new MacBook Pro models could support simultaneously.

Apple Unveils LG UltraFine 5K Display, Developed for the New MacBook ProThe 27-inch LG UltraFine 5K Display, as the name suggests, comes with a screen resolution of 2880×5120 pixels, sports an IPS panel, and has been priced by the company at $1,300 (roughly Rs. 86,900).
Apart from the impressive screen resolution, the LG UltraFine 5K Display comes with one Thunderbolt 3 port and three regular USB Type-C ports. The Thunderbolt 3 cable, which comes with the display, is capable of not just displaying the content from MacBook Pro to the screen, but also charging the laptop simultaneously with 85W of charging power. The display comes with inbuilt stereo speakers, camera, and microphone to provide extra utility options to the user.
People who are interested in a more affordable option can instead opt for LG UltraFine 4K Display, which has been priced at $700 (Rs. 46,800) and was launched by the company on Thursday. Both displays have been made available for purchase on Apple’s own website.

As for support for multiple displays, Apple revealed the number of simultaneous external displays the new MacBook Pro models can support. Due to the presence of Thunderbolt 3 ports with DisplayPort interface, the 15-inch new MacBook Pro supports up to four 4K external displays at the same time. Further, the laptop is capable of supporting up to two 5K displays simultaneously. Due to the hardware limitations, the 13-inch version of the MacBook will not be able to support the same number of displays as the 15-inch version of the laptop – it can support up to two 4K displays simultaneously, and one 5K display.

The new 13-inch MacBook Pro comes with an Intel Iris GPU, compared with the Radeon Pro 400 Series Graphics present on the 15-inch version of the laptop.

Of course, one of the most crucial features when it comes to connection with multiple displays, is that in addition to the external displays, the MacBook Pro provides simultaneous support for the full native resolution of the inbuilt display.

Apple Grabs 104 Percent of the Smartphone Industry’s Profits in Q3 2016, Claims Analyst

Profit estimates are often crucial indicators for any industry as they reveal the direction where the companies are heading. If the latest estimates by analyst Tim Long from BMO Capital Markets, about smartphone industry are anything to go by, Apple seems to be the only shining spot in an otherwise ailing industry.

As per the estimates by Long, reported by Investors, Apple accounted for 103.6 percent of the total smartphone industry’s profit in Q3, compared with 90 percent of the total share a year ago. If you are wondering how the figure is above the 100 percent mark, this is because majority of other smartphone manufacturer’s registered a loss while Apple registered a large profit. As a result, the Cupertino-based company ended up making more profit than entire industry’s net profit. Apple also offers fewer devices, and no actual budget segment, helping skew the graph further.

At second place, and very far behind, falls Samsung with 0.9 percent of the profit share, as per the estimates. The South Korean company’s profit from smartphone business was notably hit by the controversies surrounding its, now discontinued, smartphone Galaxy Note 7. The smartphone had to be recalled two times and as a result, the company is estimated to be facing a total loss to the tune of $5.3 billion (roughly Rs. 35,433 crores).
Apple Grabs 104 Percent of the Smartphone Industry's Profits in Q3 2016, Claims AnalystSamsung’s loss seems to have been Apple’s gain as the demand for company’s new smartphones iPhone 7 and 7 Plus got further boost after the announcement of Galaxy Note 7’s discontinuation. As per a recent survey, about half of Galaxy Note 7 users shifted to iPhone after the recall.

Other companies like LG and HTC have continued to lose money in their respective smartphone business and added to the woes of the industry. If the estimates are correct, this will be the first time when Apple has registered a profit share of over 100 percent.

In terms of overall smartphone sales, Samsung still leads the pack with 21.7 percent of the total smartphone sales in Q3, while Apple’s share stands at 13.2 percent, as per BMO. Huawei comes in at third position in smartphone sales with market share of 9.7 percent.

LG G Watch, Moto 360 (2014) Won’t Receive Android Wear 2.0 Update

LG G Watch, Moto 360 (2014) Won't Receive Android Wear 2.0 UpdateGoogle unveiled Android Wear 2.0 at I/O in May, and it came with a host of features like standalone apps, input methods, a new notification design, and an API for “complications”. The public release for Android Wear 2.0 is expected in the fall sometime alongside Android N. Many users are waiting for OEMs to announce the support for Android Wear 2.0, and Motorola and LG have now revealed that the latest build won’t be supported on its first-gen smartwatches.

On their respective Twitter support pages, Motorola and LG have confirmed that the first-generation Moto 360, and the LG G Watch W100 won’t be receiving the Android Wear 2.0 update. This comes as no surprise, as both the smartwatches are now almost two years old, but serves as a reminder of the perils of the early adopter. The LG G Watch was released in June 2014, and the Moto 360 followed a bit later the same year. They do not support basic connectivity tools that Android Wear 2.0 focuses on, and hence the upgrade wouldn’t make sense.

This also brings the possibility that the Samsung Gear Live smartwatch may not receive the update either. After all, it was debuted alongside the LG G Watch as a launch device for Android Wear that year.

Google took two years to release a major update for its smartwatch operating system, after it unveiled it in 2014, though minor updates in between brought features in incrementally. The new Android Wear 2.0 update levers new features like Wi-Fi, LTE, internal speakers, and GPS in new smartwatches and provides several new functionalities. There is also data saving mode, a new app layout, and new emoji support. The preview version is compatible with the Android emulator, the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE, and the Huawei Watch. Head over to the preview website to grab it right now.